The town West Hartland lies on the west banks of the Barkhamsted Reservoir in Connecticut. This quaint town borders Massachusetts on the north and is full of small-town charm. Today, it is a place for parades, picnics and carnivals. This dog-friendly town is happy to have the Winstead Hospital for Animals in nearby Barkhamstead to provide preventative, dental, and orthopedic care for your pup, if needed.
For some outdoor adventure, the Tunxis Trail system runs through the Tunxis Wildlife Management Area, located here. This 79-mile trail has a total of 18 different trails that meander through smooth and rough terrain, past gorgeous waterfalls, cliffs, wooded areas, rivers and lakes. It has something for every pup. Many areas are off-leash friendly, if your dog can follow voice commands! Some elevation change is inevitable, so plan accordingly. Return in winter for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing with your pup in tow. Features of Tunxis include colonial-era cemeteries, Indian caves and historic farmsteads.
Since this is a mostly rural area that offers no dog-friendly restaurants, be sure to be prepared and bring food and water with you while adventuring in this area.
Your pup will find West Hartland to be pawtastic!
East Hartland is a neighborhood of the town of Hartland, located east of West Hartland on the other side of the Barkhamsted Reservoir. To enjoy a relaxing time, head to Berg Field with its open area for Fifi to roam. For the more enthusiastic pup, try the Tunxix State Forest with activities like cross-country skiing in winter, and fishing, hiking and biking in the summer. Boating is also fun to do with your pup on the Howells Pond located here. Have you and Fifi tried letterboxing yet? Like geocaching, maybe she can sniff out the buried boxes! It is best to bring a picnic, water and cleanup bags to both pup-friendly places.
The Algonquin State Forest is the place to be with your pup if you like wildlife viewing and hiking. Small, but charming, this forest covers 159 acres in the town of Winchester, just east of West Hartland. You can take your fur-ever friend on the trail system that winds throughout the forest and view a variety of birds and wildlife. Be sure to bring binoculars and a camera. Pack a picnic lunch for you and your pup with plenty of water. Clean up bags are not necessarily needed, and you are welcome to keep your dog under voice command or on leash.
Head to Peoples State Forest in the town of Barkhamstad, southeast of West Hartland, for four-season fun! Fishing and hiking await you in summer, or try cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. Their colored trail system sports short .2-mile trails to 2.5-mile trails. Total trail length throughout is 10 miles. You and Fido will get plenty of exercise and fresh air here! Visit the museum on site for information on the construction of the 1935 building! You will find restrooms with water and picnic tables on-site! Be sure to pack a nice lunch and bring clean up bags.
The Day Street/Firetown Road neighborhood in the town of Granby is a pawtastic place for pups! Just south of West Hartland, it is the place to find the Mary Edwards Mountain Property, within the protected open space of Enders State Forest’s 1,400 acres. Mary Edwards overlooks the Connecticut River Valley and nearby Mt. Tom. Your pup will love hiking throughout this 200-acre property on its extensive system of trails past open space and trickling streams. This is a wildlife habitat, so take care to clean up after furry Fido. Also, bring a nice picnic lunch to share with your fur-ever friend.
South of West Hartland, in the town of Granby, you will find the pup-tastic Salmon Brook Park. This 116-acre park has something for everyone and every pup! Fifi might like some off-leash fun at the Granby Dog Park located here, which is fenced, has picnic tables and plenty of shade to cool herself! Afterwards, you can stroll through this entire park, with pup on leash, past playgrounds, through open spaces and to a pond with a sandy beach for the kiddies. When you get hungry, grab some grub after at Lite-N-Up, or the Lock Stock and Bagel for some outdoor pet-friendly dining.